The Enduring Wilderness Seminar Analysis
Listening To The Land
In The Enduring Wilderness, Doug Scott summarizes the wilderness preservation movement starting with the Wilderness Act of 1964, a law written by Howard Zahniser that took over 8 years of to pass and set aside 9.1 million acres of land to be designated as wilderness. Since that time, the United States’ National Wilderness Preservation System has come to comprise of (as of 2007) 107 million acres of land in 44 states, with the largest amount of land being protected in Alaska and California. As multiple bills are at the table of congress that would designate more land as wilderness, Doug Scott writes of an America that has not succeeded in achieving its goal of preserving wilderness, but of a country needing all of the more wilderness it can get, stating that “however much wilderness we Americans choose to designate and protect using the Wilderness Act, future generations are likely to judge not that we preserved too much, but that we preserved too little.” (Scott 124).
The Wilderness Act of 1964 and its following additions to the act which have set aside nearly 5% of the landmass of the United States, is not only a sign of the publics demand that more wilderness land be preserved, which was polled by the federal government to have “69.8% of pollers to favor protecting more wilderness in their own states” (Scott 112), but also a demonstration of the power of grassroots organizations in politics. “The realities of legislative politics and political geography lead to an inexorable conclusion: protecting wilderness by law is a matter of building grassroots support and advocacy.” (Scott 122). From early influences on land preservation like John Muir of the Sierra Club, or Aldo Leopold, Author and Conservationists, to later Wilderness preservations like Howard Zahniser, president of the Wilderness Society and author of “The Wilderness Bill”, and David Brower, President of the... [continues]
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